Krzysztof Kasprzak won the final round of Speedway European Championship, which took place in Lublin. Andrzejs Lebedevs became the new Individual European Champion. Silver medal for Artem Laguta, ahead of Vaclav Milik (photo2). Andreas Jonsson and Krzysztof Kasprzak earned the right to stay in the cycle.
The first fight of the day took place between Krzysztof Kasprzak and Mateusz Szczrepaniak – the two riders fighting for the right to stay in the cycle. The latter was quite lucky, because Smolinski, going for the 3rd place at the moment, had a problem; thanks to that, Szczepan earned one point. The second heat welcomed Lebedevs, Milik and Laguta, all of them fighting for the highest positions in the general standing. The fact that they started to ride very close to each other proves that the riders took the heat seriously – Artem Laguta suffered a fall because of that. During the repeated ride, the Russian had a great start and easily won the heat. Lebedevs spent three laps riding on the last position, but managed to pass Andrey Kudryashov in the last lap.
The first two series belonged to Artem Laguta and Daniel Jeleniewski. The Russian representative and the Speed Car Motor Lublin captain were the only unbeated riders after two starts. Mateusz Szczepaniak, on the other hand, turned out to be very slow. Szczepan was at times very far away from his rivals, and because of that he lost his chance to stay in the cycle for the next season.
The heat nr 9 was unlucky for Daniel Jeleniewski. The rider coming from Motor lost against Kasprzak and Kudryashov. Andrzej Lebedevs scored his first win in heat 10. The leader passed from third to first position. Heat 11 witnessed problems with the start tape. Andreas Jonsson blamed a judge on that, and eventually gave up on riding at the first lap. However, the heat was completed. After that, the judges decided to repeat the heat. Then, the fans had a chance to witness a great portion of speedway. Four laps saw a lot of racing taking place among Laguta, Smolinski and Jonsson. Eventually, it was the German who took second place, the Russian was third and the Swede fourth.
Kasprzak, Laguta, Pawlicki and Lebedevs
A dangerous situation took place in heat 13. Krzysztof Kasprzak, who was third, decided to ride outside in order to overtake Michael Jepsen Jensen. Unfortunately “Kasper” hit the fence at full speed. Luckily he was not injured. In heat 15, Andrzejs Lebedevs snatched another victory. He lost the start again, but at the second corner he passed his rivals on the outside. That allowed him to defend 4-points lead.
The last series was a war of nerves between Vaclav Milik and Andrzejs Lebedevs. Milik made a huge mistake in heat 18, finished in third position and Lebedevs took advantage of it. The Latvian won heat 20 with huge advantage, winning the European Championship. In extra race and grand final, Milik and Laguta had to fight for the silver medal. The Czech had to start in race-off. The Russian was directly promoted to the final.
In race-off, excluding Milik, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Przemysław Pawlicki fought for remaining in the cycle for next season. Milik’s promotion to the final allowed him to stand in the duel against Laguta. In the first corner Milik hit Pawlicki: both of them crashed and stood up fast. Unfortunately for the Czech, the referee decided to exclude him. Laguta needed only one point for the silver. In the repeated heat, Pawlicki won and passed to the final without problems. Kasprzak was second. That meaned that the two Polish riders had to fight for maintenance in last heat.
Andrzejs Lebedevs, Artiom Laguta, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Przemysław Pawlicki took part to the grand final. The gap between Kasprzak and Pawlicki was only 2 points. Finally, Kasprzak won with huge advantage and secured the start in the Speedway European Championship 2018. The silver medal in general classification went to Laguta, who was third in last SEC 2017 race.
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/461